Miami woman charged with fraud in Stuart

Miami woman charged with fraud in Stuart

Stuart, Fla- The Stuart Police arrested a Miami woman after she made fraud charges on other people’s credit cards.

On Friday, February 9, 2018, Stuart Police responded to Home Goods in Stuart, FL, to investigate a theft of wallet. The victim reported that she was shopping at Home Goods. She then received an alerted by Discover that her credit card was being actively used at Best Buy in Jensen Beach, FL. Then she realized her wallet had been stolen from her purse containing several credit cards, $600 in cash and her driver license.

An additional officer responded to Best Buy and attempted to locate the suspect. At that time it was discovered that over $5,300 had already been charged on the victim’s Discover account. During the transactions, the suspect, Vanessa Cortes, 35, of Miami, had used the victim’s personal information to create a counterfeit Florida driver license with Cortes’ photograph. Best Buy Loss Prevention reported that Cortes had actually verified the victim’s personal information over the phone, with the bank during the transaction and successfully left the store.

Responding officers then began searching neighboring businesses and requested assistance from Martin County Sheriff’s Office to check businesses within their jurisdiction.

Stuart Police subsequently responded to Target. They discovered that Cortes was in the electronic department at Target. An MCSO Deputy assisted with escorting Cortes into the Loss Prevention Office. Then while doing so, Cortes began to send several rapid text messages with her cell phone. It is believed that Cortes warned an accomplice. The stolen goods and accomplice have yet to be located.

Cortes was arrested. The police  9 credit cards belonging to the victim. They also found a counterfeit FL driver license containing Cortes’ photograph with the victim’s personal Information. Cortes was charged with Criminal Use of Personal Information, 4 counts of Grand Theft and 3 counts of Fraud. Cortes will be held on a $40,000 bond.

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